About a month ago I realised the notifications on my phone were making me unproductive and giving me a little bit of anxiety so I made the conscious decision to turn my notifications off. Now the only ones I really have on are phone calls and text messages (mainly for my mum).
So what happened when I did this? At first I found it hard. I found myself scared I was missing out on something and would check my phone worried I would get in trouble from someone because I didn’t reply to their whatsapp message quickly enough. I call this the withdrawal period.
Then came the acceptance. I slowly realised this was rather silly. We live in such an instant world I forget it is not a requirement rather it is a privilege. I decided to dedicate certain times to reply to messages. On my lunch break or during the evenings.It was not that easy, there is still the temptation to be constantly scrolling but that has slowly died and for the most part stopped me from feeling I am constantly on social media.
In terms of productivity I became more focussed during work or when I am doing tasks as my phone is not lighting up every so often which end up distracting me. When my notifications were turned on if I was writing a blogpost and I got a message and went to check it, I could end up wasting five minutes delaying me finishing writing that article. Even if I don’t respond I still end up thinking about the message. As much as I can multi task, I work better when I am compartlemtalising especially when I have a lot of projects on the go.
It also made me look a bit more into my time management in general. While I like to think I am an organised person, I still need to improve in order to get everything I want done. I had a real shift in focus recently and my productivity needs to reflect this and the turning my notifications off was the first steps in making sure I recognise this and plan accordingly.
Don’t get me wrong, there are times when I still feel guilty for not replying to people straight away but ultimately no one really cared enough even if it is something which was important.
I am still on social media a lot. Do not get me wrong – I work in digital marketing so it is something I am on for work as well as connecting with friends. Turning the notifications off have allowed me to separate them both and also made me conscious about how much time I am spending online.
The verdict? I am still on a journey. I know I made the choice a month ago but social media is a bit like a drug and I find myself replaying from time to time. Am I glad I did it? 100% and would I recommend turning off notifications if you feel like you spend too much time on social media or if you are finding it a bit overwhelming. Yes, yes and yes.